0Are HUGE Distractions to Your Presentation.
Uh, Like, You Know, Um, OK?
Those and other “Filler Words” do not add value to a presentation. They distract the audience from the message. Too many of them, and those listening and looking at the presenter will never GET IT!
Toastmasters assigns an “Ah Counter” at each meeting to monitor and sometimes ring a bell when a speaker uses them in the speech. The goal is to make the member aware they are using filler words and to eliminate them.
The big one lately seems to be – “So.”
“So“. . .Let me tell you about. . .”
“So“. . .When I was a young man I. . .”
“So. . .Let me answer it this way. . .”
I have heard very educated, smart, otherwise articulate people use this word to begin speaking. (Some even end sentences with it, also!) Too often, they are television personalities doing interviews or reporting news events. It lessens the power of what they say after starting with, “So“. . . Some equate it to using a microphone with a poor connection that crackles occasionally, interrupting the speaker’s talk, and putting an added burden on the audience to listen intently.
Unfortunately, using filler words can give the audience the perception the speaker doesn’t know their topic well. That hurts their message. Other thoughts in the audience can be: the speaker is nervous, didn’t prepare for the presentation, and isn’t enthusiastic about the subject.
Important: You may be using “So“ and other filler words and don’t know it! Record a presentation and listen. Read More→
As Apple used to say, “THINK DIFFERENT.”
When we attend networking events, social functions, or seminars, the leader often announces, “Before we get started, let’s go around the room. When it’s your turn, stand up, tell us who you are and what you do – give us your Elevator Speech.
Most people, when it’s their turn, stand up and say something unrememberable like this, “Hi! My name is Bill. I work for City Realty. If you’re looking to sell or buy a home, please see me.”
That’s a person you’ll want to do business with and refer, isn’t it? Not!
Start your Elevator Speech by asking a Question to get them thinking about the benefits of Your Products and Services.
Here are a few examples from my world. As you listen or read them, think about questions you will be asking.
“Have you ever watched and listened to a speaker and immediately thought,
‘Wow! This guy really knows what he’s talking about! If I ever need that product or service, I’ll contact him. I’ll also refer him.’
I’m the guy they hire to develop, practice, and deliver presentations like that!”
I’d love to get this response,
“Gee! That’s interesting. Can you tell me how that works?” Read More→
One of the reasons we develop great Elevator Speeches is for networking events, social functions, and seminars. Often, as the audience is getting settled, the leader announces, “Before we get started, let’s go around the room When it’s your turn; stand up, tell who you are and what you do – give us your Elevator Speech.”
We also need an Elevator Speech for one-on-one situations, formal and informal networking, where we’re asked, “What do you do?”
Everyone is not a prospect for the products and/or services you offer.
You are not going to purchase every product and service someone tells you about.
When networking, one goal should be:
“Don’t waste Major time on Minor possibilities!”
I was attending a chamber event, where people arrived early to Network. As typically happens, people were introducing themselves to others and giving their Elevator Speech. Read More→
If you’re in a marching band, you better be in step with your fellow band members.
If you are in a play, chorus, or orchestra and forget your lines, the song, or play your instrument at the wrong time – you’re in a bad place!
When delivering a presentation, it’s an entirely different story. No one, unless you say something, knows but you! Also, no one cares! They don’t have a printed version of your talk where they’re following along and checking that your spoken word matches.
Some speakers write their presentation and think they must memorize every word of their talk. They also want to have all aspects of their speech – Perfect! That mindset creates a lot of anxiety and is one of the reasons people have a Fear of Public Speaking. The negative self-talk is something like this:
- “What if I forget something?”
- “What if I mispronounce a word?”
- “What if the audience doesn’t laugh when I say something funny?”
- “What if my slide show doesn’t work perfectly?”
- “What if I have a “brain freeze” and forget what I’m talking about?
That kind of thinking and strategy will, most likely, not give the desired results.
Here are a few facts to keep in mind. Read More→
Many speakers, even experienced ones, do things they should STOP. Here are some of them.
STOP Using Buzz Words, Acronyms, or Techno-Speak.
• You don’t impress people with words
they don’t know. You’ll lose them!
• No one likes to feel stupid.
• We see the emperor with no clothes,
but no one says anything.
• The words you think everyone knows – they don’t!
• Plan and simple language Rules!
STOP Letting the Emcee Write Your Introduction.
• It is your responsibility, not the emcee’s, and is an integral part of your presentation.
• The Introduction is not your bio. No one cares where you went to school,
how many kids you have, or that you collect sea shells.
• The purpose of the Introduction is to give credibility to the speaker.
Attendees should be asking themselves,
“What gives this person the right to speak to us?”
• The Introduction should answer three questions:
• Why this subject?
• Why this speaker?
• Why now?
You write it because no one knows you better!
STOP Putting Bullet Points on Your Slides!
• No one comes to a presentation to read slides.
• Bullet Points do not reinforce your message.
They Complicate the message, Confuse the audience, and Conflict with the presenter.
• Solution: Use high quality, universally understood images.
You provide the text with your voice and the words you are speaking.
0Why should you consider using Slides in your presentations?
Slides are a prop. People attending your talk will look and listen to you and see your props. These can increase the quality of your presentation and reach your goal of having the audience GET IT!
Your audience has three main styles of learning.
• Visual – Seeing something.
• Auditory – Hearing something.
• Kinesthetic – Doing something.
We use all three to different degrees. Nothing is good or bad. It is what it is.
For speakers, if more than one of these styles can be addressed to convey your message, the odds they’ll GET IT! are dramatically increased.
Here are Gems for that great slide presentation.
Caveat: Think Plain, Simple, and Zen-like when creating your slides.
Don’t use Bullet Points!
Bullet Points Kill! – Kill the Bullet Points!
• Nobody comes to a presentation to read your speech!
• Instead of bullet points and text, use images.
We think in terms of images. One per slide, or several that express the same main point.
If I say the word, Apple, you probably don’t see the letters A-p-p-le. You probably see something round, red, with a stem coming out of it, right?
Okay, let’s try another one. Read More→
oCan Be Challenging!
We’re familiar with the Elevator Speech. It’s delivered at a Networking Event, Social Function, or Seminar. The leader announces, “Before we get started, let’s go around the room. When it’s your turn; stand up, tell us who you are and what you do. Give us your Elevator Speech.”
That is a “Speaking Opportunity” where a varying number of people are in attendance. The time to present your personal infomercial is usually fifteen to ninety seconds. Your goal is to have everyone know exactly what you do. Then they can decide if it’s something they want more information on, or not, and would be comfortable referring you to someone who might be a prospect.
If you don’t have an Elevator Speech, or want to tweak your present one, Here is a proven Elevator Speech Template and Worksheet.
The One-on-One Elevator Speech is different and challenging because of time constraints, the number of people hearing it (only one), and the goals.
One-on-One Elevator Speeches can be used at cocktail parties, when standing in line at a theater and making small talk with others, and, of course, before an event where it has been suggested to “arrive early and Network.”
If the Elevator Speech is a mini-presentation, the One-on-One Elevator Speech is a micro-presentation.
One of the challenges in these situations is to meet as many prospects as possible, and not to waste major time on minor possibilities.
Here are the Rules.
oWe Can’t Do Two Things at Once!
Fred Miller, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”
Here’s this week’s post.
We Cannot Multitask!
We can’t do two things at once. That’s why, if you use bullet points, the people are going to miss your message. Nobody came to your presentation to read your speech. And if they’re reading it, they are not listening to you.
If you’re watching the cable news networks you’ll see a ticker tape, like this, right along the bottom sometimes. And if you’re reading that ticker tape, you’re not listening. You’re missing the story. You’re not hearing the interview.
Don’t Use Bullet Points!
And if you’re going to use other props, like this, take them away so they’re not a distraction. Because if they’re looking at your prop, they’re not looking at you. And we know: There’s content and delivery. Delivery trumps content. On the delivery side, nonverbal communication trumps verbal. You want them watching you. That’s how they’ll get your message! Read More→
o You’ve made a New Year’s resolution to Improve your Public Speaking and Presentation Skills.
Fred Miller, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”
Happy New Year!
If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to improve your Public Speaking and Presentation Skills.
You’ve done that because you know:
“Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities!”
Here’s some suggestions on how to work on that:
There are lot of good books out there, and blog posts.
Attend events and watch on YouTube. That way you can see and hear the good, and the stuff that’s not so good. The stuff you don’t want to emulate.
Do those two things and I guarantee your presentations will be absolutely, positively –
NO SWEAT! Read More→
0It’s That Time of the Year!
Here are My 2016 Resolutions.
What are Yours?
#1. Prepare and Practice for each Presentation
even if I’ve given it 100+ times.
- It might be the umpteenth time I’ve delivered it, but it’s the first time most of the audience have heard it.
- The size of the audience doesn’t matter. I should always give my best.
- “Practice makes perfect.” No!
- “Perfect Practice makes Perfect.” – No such thing!
- The one I subscribe to is: “The road to perfection never ends!”
#2. Regularly Refresh and Update my Content and Delivery.
- The only constant is Change. I’ll continue to practice Kaizen, the Japanese word meaning continuous improvement.
#3. Get Out of my Comfort Zone with Content and Delivery.
- When we Get Out of our Comfort Zone – our Comfort Zone becomes Larger!
- Insert new material.
- Refresh images, video clips, and sound effects.
#4. Study, Study, and Study about my subject of Expertise,
the Art & Science of Public Speaking/Presenting.
- I always learn new things from the blogs, articles, books and videos I seek out on public speaking/presentations.
#5. Continue to regularly publish Posts with great Content,
and to place the Audio in each Post.
- The combination of Written Post + Audio Post has made me a better writer and a better speaker.
- Make more Video Posts.
- Place the Transcript below; the Audio, above.
#6. Take just about every opportunity I can to Speak. Paid and Fee Waived. Read More→